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Houston show reports boost in attendance

The 57th annual Houston International Boat, Sport & Travel Show wrapped up last Sunday with a 13 percent increase in overall attendance and a notable boost in sales.

The Houston show, which fills 16 acres of Reliant Center with boats, travel trailers and a wide range of merchandise for the outdoors, took place Jan. 4-13.

“During our first two days of operation we saw a significant increase in attendance,” show president Ken Lovell said in a statement. “When you factor in that we had to close on our first Saturday due to the Texans playoff game, and Tuesday and Wednesday saw heavy rains with flash floods in the forecast, the attendance was substantial. We had a steady flow of attendees for the remainder of the show. We were impressed with the turnout.”

Boat and trailer dealers, as well as many of the smaller booth exhibitors, experienced a notable growth in sales.

“This year we had a 10 percent increase in the number of exhibitors who came in to this show from out of town,” Lovell said. “They know our economy is doing well and say that Texans spend big, and that’s why this show is such a draw.”

Since it takes place just days after the start of the new year, local boat dealers typically use the Houston show to gauge the type of year it will be for sales.

They are pleased,” Lovell said. “It was a very positive start to the new year for the boating industry.”

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